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  • Writer's pictureMadhusudan

Song of Love Retreat - Ahmedabad, India

Updated: Mar 19, 2023

Few reflections from participants:

Akshat – Birthing of a SOL (Song Of Love)

It feels like I was born at the breaking of dawn with new faces around me I had an expression of glee Madhu, Uday bhai, volunteers, Bhaskar, cooks and others, Vipul and Shruti’s Bhajans, Jayesh Bhai’s pearls of wisdom,

They all nurtured me, along with silence, music and seva Everyone brought their own flavour including cute little Reva

Anette held the space with a glow To let the music from within flow, Peace walk, Silent Dinner, heart circles for sure Contributed to the required manure

For A seed waiting to grow into a tree A flower waiting for a bee A bell waiting to be rung A song waiting to be sung

On a flute which is hollow and empty Only to realise that the music it gives is how we all should be

Here I was, born.. …a new song of Love <3

Deepa –

“Song of Love” was yet another reminder for me – a testimony to the fact that there are so many unsung champions in this broken moment of our collective story who are holding the world together by their resolute love and contagious enthusiasm. My gratitude to each participant who showed me the face of this undying hope for a better tomorrow. As we keep walking to unfold the eternal mystery of our respective soul paths, in full appreciation of the sense of journey within the larger evolutionary landscape, may we stay present to the smallest of miracles that were designed just for us, to continue believing that our journey is meaningful and worthwhile even in its most parched moments. Thank you each one of you, for your silence, your songs, your words and above all the unspoken presence in you that brought us all together to sing the song of love. —

Abhishek – It was the end of the Song of Love retreat. Four of us were ready to dunk Madhu into the pool at Sugad. Just before we did that, we paused. We frisked Madhu for anything that could not stand water. His glasses, a watch and a handkerchief were duly taken aside.

And then, SPLASH!

It may seem like an act of mischief, but it was really an act of love…..the beautiful, invisible space that we swam together in. Any visit to Sughad is a deep dive into love – everytime. It starts with Uday Bhai’s ricshaw (where Morari Bapu and Kajol have joined the list of Amitabh and the rest of us as passengers). Uday bhai took me to the Girls Hostel opposite the Ashram – the path leading to the courtyard was already full of hearts and lamps. Inside, the girls neatly parted in two sections with space in the middle and the verdant courtyard as the backdrop.

Over the evening, devotional songs and sharing set tone for the up-coming retreat. Jayeshbhai was exceptionally vibrant, reminding us that Love is perhaps the only lesson we need to learn. Annette and all of us felt welcomed with the wamth of the girls who we joined for dinner. The next three days were filled with long periods of silence – to fully sink into love. Meditations with Annette included the Golden Thread meditation where we sent love to the world. There were silences that would end with a sonorous ting! of her bowl. And between the silences was some sharing and LOTS of music!

Kabir flowed through the days and the evenings all the way into late night – and we were up again with the Prabhatpheri songs; all celebrating love! After all, we were at a place that itself was Ishwar dada’s labour of love – fortunate to have the fruits and planting seeds.

A fascinating aspect of the retreat was Dreamwork – interpretation of our dreams, which are also a calling of the soul. As we shared, we discovered the symbolism that exists – and often it was the calling of the feminine for men and of the masculine for the women. Marrying the inner partner rather than projecting it outside was an important lesson I carried back. Annette shared from her heart – the wisdom of years of walking in the Sufi tradition…..the message was that it is time to end separation and see the reality of our connectedness…

That apart, there were “heart spaces” – break out groups without any agenda except to speak from our heart, in the hear and now. The retreat closed with each of groups presenting our vision of the world. Our group, the White Wolves choose to enact an image of birds flying, set to a beautiful song by Shruthi.

What stays with me are the tender moments of the retreat….where tears flowed from the eyes…..and the rest of us silently joined into them…..SPLASH!

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